Though stocks rallied Wednesday on news that Senate leaders had struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown, some market observers expressed disappointment about the bill's failure to address the nation's long-term debt problems and warned that another budget battle could have more negative implications on the economy.
The agreement would extend U.S. borrowing authority until Feb. 7, although the Treasury Department would have tools to temporarily extend its borrowing capacity beyond that date if Congress failed to act early next year. It also would fund government agencies until Jan. 15, ending a partial government shutdown that began with the fiscal year on Oct. 1.
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"It feels like this is just kicking the can down the road," said Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, one of the world's largest investment firms. "It's going to have a lasting damage to consumer confidence, a lasting damage to CEO behavior in terms of job creation and, importantly, it's going to create a marginal change in foreign investors' behavior in investing in U.S. Treasurys."
In turn, Fink told "Closing Bell" he expects a "pretty weak fourth quarter" and a slow start to the first half of next year. He also suspects that another budget fight will prompt the Federal Reserve bank to continue its quantitative easing program
Separately, Nuveen Asset Management's Bob Doll told "Street Signs" that he, too, had hoped for more of a long-term solution. Still, he said, he's happy lawmakers agreed to something.
The markets likely will have difficulty moving much higher as Wall Street shifts its focus from Washington to subpar revenue and earnings growth, he said.
"The focus now appropriately will come back to revenue and earnings growth, which is only mediocre," said Doll, whose firm has $115 billion assets under management. "My guess is that the market will have trouble making significant forward progress from here until we get visibility on stronger revenue and earnings growth, which I think will come, but not right now."
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The markets will more or less move sideways, Doll said, calling it a "consolidation period." He was surprised at how far the market has climbed since the shutdown began, he said, and it to give up some of those gains as earnings are released in the next few weeks but doesn't think it will be a drastic downside move.
Though Doll expects a tepid earnings season, he said the economy is "doing OK" with "less bad news" out of Europe and parts of Asia. In turn, he suggested that investors look at cyclical stocks, meaning companies that do well in times of economic strength. He did not share specific names.